[Ads-l] Pogo on intelligent life in the universe

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu Feb 16 02:32:12 EST 2017


The Wikiquote webpage for Walt Kelly lists the following Pogo quotation.

[Begin Wikiquote version]
Thar’s only two possibilities: Thar is life out there in the universe
which is smarter than we are, or we’re the most intelligent life in
the universe. Either way, it’s a mighty sobering thought.
[End Wikiquote version]

The passage above was highlighted with a companion photo. It was also
selected as Quote of the Day in 2004. Unfortunately, Wikiquote does
not provide a citation. So, I decided to attempt to locate the precise
comic strip.

The quality of the text created by OCR (optical character recognition)
for Pogo is terrible which greatly impairs searchability. But fortune
smiled and I eventually found a candidate. The text was markedly
different, but the overall semantics and the punchline matched the
target quotation.

[ref] 1959 June 20, The Honolulu Advertiser, Pogo Comic Strip by Walt
Kelly, Quote Page B3, Honolulu, Hawaii. (Newspapers_com)[/ref]

https://www.newspapers.com/image/259239643/?terms=Pogo

[Begin Comic Strip Text]
Porky Pine: I BEEN READIN' 'BOUT HOW MAYBE THEY IS PLANETS PEOPLED BY
FOLKS WITH AD-VANCED BRAINS.

Pogo: UM

Porky Pine: ON THE OTHER HAND, MAYBE WE GOT THE MOST BRAINS...MAYBE
OUR INTELLECTS IS THE UNIVERSE'S MOST AD-VANCED.

Porky Pine: EITHER WAY, IT'S A MIGHTY SOBERIN' THOUGHT.
[End Comic Strip Text]

Question for list members: Does a Pogo comic strip exist that more
closely matches the text specified by Wikiquote? Did Walt Kelly cover
this topic more than once?  Alternatively, is the Wikiquote version
based on a faulty memory?

Garson O'Toole

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The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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